For those looking to run awareness campaigns on MS, an MS symbol comes in handy. A multiple sclerosis symbol is particularly useful because it serves as a shorthand signal, letting people know, even at one glance, that an event, person or group is directing attention to the condition.

The use of symbols for diseases is a practice that has fast become popular globally. Most people readily recognize that pink ribbons are a symbol for breast cancer. The widespread use of the color pink by associations such as Komen, which specialize in breast cancer awareness, has made this association an almost automatic one in the minds of many people. This use of the color pink is possibly part of the reason for its having been reclaimed as a “cool” color that men and women alike are willing to wear. It has to be pointed out that pink ribbons and the color pink are not solely symbols for breast cancer. They are also symbolic of childhood cancer, as well as of the birth parents of children who were adopted. The fact that it is most associated with breast cancer in people’s minds points to the effectiveness of breast cancer awareness campaigns.

Another colored ribbon that is widely associated with a particular disease is the red one. The red ribbon is widely noted to symbolize HIV/ AIDS. In the United States, where HIV/ AIDS is perceived as a minority disease, this may not be readily recognized. But in other countries across the world, including countries in Asia and Africa, which have to deal with HIV/ AIDS as a more urgent public health issue, the red ribbon is instantly recognized for what it symbolizes. It is pretty obvious to people in these nations that, when they see many people walking around with red ribbons pinned to their shirts, blouses and dresses, it is likely to be World AIDS Day. Any website with a red ribbon is assumed to be a website targeted at people living with HIV/ AIDS.


The Symbol for Multiple Sclerosis in Greater Detail


What about MS? Well, there are at least two well-known MS symbols. One MS symbol is the pearl ribbon. It so happens that the pearl ribbon is also a symbol for lung cancer, emphysema and mesothelioma. Another multiple sclerosis symbol, and one that is best known in Canada, is the carnation. In the same way that the pink ribbon is supposed to symbolize hope for breast cancer patients in the US, the carnation is supposed to symbolize hope for multiple sclerosis patients in Canada. The idea is that someday a cure will become available to them.